Cloth Diaper Sewing and Fabrics

Blog dedicated to Cloth Diaper Sewing and Fabric discussion and information.

My Photo
Location: United States

Author of "The Complete Cloth Diaper Book' and a monthly newsletter, both of which discuss cloth Diapers, tips/tricks, styles, fabrics and sewing techniques. Come visit at


Diaper Sewing Information and Fabrics

Fabrics: Diaper Cover Quality

Waterproof diaper cover fabrics are most commonly found to be made from either PUL or Ultrex (water resistant fabrics include fleece and wool). What are the differences in PUL and Ultrex and how should each be cared for? Are they all created equal? What do you look for when buying a waterproof diaper cover, AIO or fabric?

PUL and Ultrex Facts
Ultrex® is a waterproof, windproof, durable and extremely breathable fabric system (similar to Gore-Tex). A microporous coating is applied to the underside of the fabric. It is small enough to block out wind and rain, yet large enough to permit perspiration vapor molecules to escape. Ultrex® can be applied to any fabric, but is usually applied to Supplex®, forming a nylon fabric with waterproof coating. This product has been shown to withstand numerous washings before losing it's waterproof abilities.

Ultrex is available in either a 2-ply or 3-ply system. Either a 2-part or 3-part, respectively, system of densely woven fabric, micro-porous polyurethane coating and DWR (durable water repellent) finish. It is recommended that 2-ply be lined, to protect the membrane.

Machine wash warm - Rinse twice with cold water. Tumble dry low, remove promptly. Do not dry clean or bleach. Holds up great to repeated washings.

PUL is an acronym for Polyurethane Laminate and refers to any fabric that has a polyurethane laminated to a base fabric. For diapers, it is most often a polyester knit fabric laminated to a 1mil or 2mil waterproof, non-breathable backing. Unlike Ultrex, PUL is non-breathable. Both are waterproof.

PUL was actually developed for the medical industry. It is soft, pliable, and waterproof. It can withstand high temperatures and a lot of use. PUL is a very durable fabric.

You will find both 1mil and 2mil PUL used in diaper making, as well as diaper fabrics available for sewing. Which you use is a personal preference, but 2mil, just by it's thicker nature, will be a more heavy-duty fabric. They are both equally waterproof, but 2mil might be more leakproof for times of longer use. Either should be sufficient for daytime, normal wear. 2mil PUL is thicker and therefore more stiff.

You can find diaper fabrics that have been double laminate, or 2-sided laminates. These usually have a waterproof material sandwiched between 2 layers of fabric (often polyester knit). This fabric provides a nice cover as it is quite durable, and soft on both sides. It can usually withstand high heats, industrial washing/drying and the fabric on both sides helps to protect the waterproof inner layer.

You can machine wash on any temperature and dry on any temperature. Many people believe the PUL to last longer dried on medium heat, but fabric manufacturers say the fabric should withstand high heats. I have found both opinions to be held by diaper manufacturers and users.

PUL and Ultrex Comparison
Both PUL and Ultrex fabrics should not be washed or dried with bleach or fabric softeners. Are they created equal? Let's look at the differences.

PUL Ultrex
Breathable no yes
Waterproof yes yes
High Heat yes no
Fabric Softener no no
Bleach no no

Both can be treated with a waterproofing additive to re-waterproof if they break down.

To get more cloth diaper information like this, join my free newsletter.

Fabrics: Unbleached Cotton

Unbleached cotton is a little used gem when it comes to diaper fabrics. This material is just as absorbent and soft as the bleached white we are all used to, but it has more to offer. The fabrics have not been broken down by the bleaching process and therefore it lasts longer, which is invaluable when trying to make your diapers last through several little ones.

A few companies are offering the choice between bleached or unbleached cotton diapers. One great source for unbleached diapers is found here. If you sew your diapers, search for unbleached fabrics and your diaper sewing time and effort will last your little ones much longer.

The Complete Cloth Diaper Book Released!

The most comprehensive and current book available anywhere about the benefits and choices in cloth diapering today. PLUS, patterns and step by step pictorical sewing instructions for making your own diapers, covers, all-in-ones(AIO), soakers and more!

You'll find everything you need to know to make choices about cloth diaper options and begin using them with your little one. I discuss styles, fabrics used and caring for them, benefits and drawbacks to the different styles, accessories, sewing techniques and much much more.

If you are experienced with cloth diapers, this book will educate you on the latest fabrics and accessories available, and discuss sewing techniques to customize your diapers to improve fit and/or absorbancy..
Learn more...

Where to find Cloth Diaper Sewing fabric and notions?

I have come across a great WHAM site that sells cloth diaper sewing fabrics and notions. I have ordered from her several time and have had good experince every time. I have gotten to know her recently and feel very comfortable recomending her to you! Her site is great.

Not only does she care lots of great notions and sewing needs, but also has a great selection of fabrics. You can purchase by the yard like every other site out there, OR you can purchase by the 'unit'. This is the coolest part about her business. Rather than buy a yard of fabric and end up with a bunch of left overs that are not big enough to make into anything, she pre-cuts her fabric into square 'units' that are just the right size for you to cut for your diaper. It's great! It reduces the fabric waste and saves you money!

check it out! click here..

If you'd like to begin receiving additional information on styles, fabrics, tips/tricks, Q&A sessions, coupons, hot new products and much more, sign up for my FREE newsletter.

To find out where to get ahold of these and other great diaper fabrics, go here.

Find out how to use these and other fabrics in The Complete Cloth Diaper Book: Instructions, Fabrics, Sewing and Patterns.

To simply learn more about cloth diapers and where you get them, go here